Have you ever been so mad at someone that the idea of them touching you makes your blood run cold? When I get mad at Mark, for whatever reason, I can become a statue, unresponsive to any affection. Well, most any affection. All affection except a kiss on the neck.
If he kisses me on the neck it’s like all those angry thoughts melt away and I just want to cuddle up with him. And it’s all completely involuntary! My brain is screaming, “Don’t do it! Don’t give in!” But my neck? My neck is all about immediate reconciliation and pardoning of all sins. Talk about frustration!
I can’t help but think this is the exact same thing playing out between consumers and the oil companies every year at the end of the summer. We spend all summer with soaring gas prices, predicting to end the season paying at least a dollar more for a gallon of gas than we started.
Then? Right at the end of summer, right before Labor Day? The oil companies “kiss our neck” and lower gas prices by 30 or 40 cents.
We start predictably swooning, “Oh my goodness, I’m so excited that I’m only paying $3.60 for a gallon of gas! Aren’t I lucky?!”
We forget that we are still paying 60 more cents than in May. We forget that the cost of everything is going up because of gas prices, and the consumer is always the one to foot the bill. We forget that they’re not exactly aggressively trying to find new ways to be less fuel dependent.
Because a gallon of gas is 30 cents less!
The worst part, in my opinion, is that they lower gas prices just enough right before Labor Day so that we aren’t as upset when they officially break the imaginary $4/gallon limit most of us set by the end of the summer (“$4 is crazy! I’ll start walking!” turns into “$4? I guess that’s not so bad.”)
I want to be mad at the oil companies. I want to remember all the ways they have failed. But that 30 cent discount? Mmmm, it just feels too good…